Former Eagles QB Cunningham raising funds through auction
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Randall Cunningham is set for one more turnover he doesn't mind committing. The former All-Pro quarterback is auctioning off memorabilia from a fantastic NFL career to raise funds for the church he serves in Las Vegas.
Cunningham is ridding himself of just about every game-used jersey, helmet and trophy accumulated over a 16-year career spent mostly with the Philadelphia Eagles. Cunningham is now a pastor at Remnant Ministries in Las Vegas and hoped to put a portion of the proceeds toward the $6.2 million needed for renovations that should help the youth in the Las Vegas area.
''The kids in Vegas can really go to the next level and become kids who are effective in the community,'' Cunningham said this week by phone.
Cunningham is auctioning his memorabilia through Hunt Auctions and it will serve as the flagship collection for its Super Live Auction in Arizona. The auction preview exhibition starts Saturday and runs through Feb. 1 at the NFL Experience at the Phoenix Convention Center, allowing fans to peruse Cunningham's collection along with over 500 additional football pieces available. The live auction begins Jan. 31.
Cunningham has put up items that include his Bert Bell Most Valuable Player Awards for 1988, 1990, and 1998 (estimated $10,000 to $20,000 each); jerseys from the 1980s and 1990s (estimated at $1,000 to $5,000 each); and former Eagles teammate Reggie White's 1992 game-used jersey (estimated $10,000 to $20,000 each). Cunningham, who threw for 29,979 yards and rushed for another 4,929 yards, also played for Minnesota, Dallas and Baltimore.
He was a Pro Bowl pick four times. He also starred at UNLV.
Cunningham retired in 2002 as the career leader in rushing yards among NFL quarterbacks. The Eagles in 2009 added him to the team's honor roll. In his 11-year Eagles career, Cunningham threw for 22,877 yards and 150 touchdowns, and rushed for 4,482 yards and 32 touchdowns.
Cunningham is an ordained minister and pastor of a church six blocks off Las Vegas Boulevard that he runs with his wife, Felicity.
He's keeping the ring the Eagles presented him at the honor roll ceremony. Everything else must go. He planned at one point to share his collection with his four children, ranging from 2 to 19 years old, but the pull of funneling the money to his church was too great to ignore.
While so many former athletes put their goods on the auction block because they're hit financial woes, Cunningham said he was shedding his trophy case for the greater good of the community.
''I was told, don't forget where you came from,'' he said. ''For a while, I didn't understand what that meant. I thought that meant, remember you're from Santa Barbara, California. But realistically what it meant was, remember the people who poured into you and gave to you, so you can go back and help them.''
Cunningham hoped to raise $1 million through the auction and said another $2 million has already been donated to the project that should bump the church from 17,500 square feet to 40,000. He planned to add everything from a basketball gym and a weight room to classrooms and computers.
He has not reached out to former teammates about helping the cause, though he still keeps an eye on the Eagles.
''Oh yeah, I hear them talking about how need to move up and take (Oregon QB) Marcus Mariota,'' he said.
Bidders can start bidding to begin at noon MST on Jan. 31. Bids can be made in person, phone, or online. More information on how to bid is available at www.HuntAuctions.com.